We got lucky. Real lucky. But I wouldn’t recommend this, it’s not for everyone, but for us, it worked out. Bella simply is the best dog in the world. Really. You may argue, but we’re convinced. What started out as a two week dog search at www.petfinder.com and a brief visit to one local animal shelter resulted in what we have today. We weren’t sure that we were 100% ready, but let’s face it, is anyone ever ready? You just gotta go for it. Let me take you back there to explain.
It was late July 2009, I talked to my friend Amy (same friend who runs Teacher’s Pet) to see if she had any Rottweiler-type dogs in her training program. She mentioned a few black labs, but Brent always wanted a Rottweiler, we checked online and there she was; a shepherd mix with all of the distinct colorings of a Rottweiler. They pegged her as 1-3 years old, but she looked small. Not built at all like a rott. As luck would have it, she was living at a shelter in Oxford, one that Amy worked with from time-to-time and I just had to meet her as soon as possible. What was the rush you ask? Well, they were having an adoption event at the Palace of Auburn Hills that weekend and judging by the photos I saw online, I knew someone else would adopt her right away. I couldn’t have that.
So we went on that Thursday and I just happened to have a break in between working at the office and an event I had in the evening, so Brent and I drove separately and met up at K-9 Stray Rescue League (http://www.dogsaver.org/k9srl/). We walked up to the ranch house which doubled as a safe-house for stray dogs and dogs that were discarded like they meant nothing to their owners. (Given the rough economic times, I understand that some owners simply just cannot afford to take care of them and for them, my heart breaks. Giving up a member of your family just cannot go down easy. I hope they find peace and that their dogs find a new, loving home.) The front yard of the house had several rows of dogs just hanging out on the front lawn. All were excited to see us and we walked around gave them all a dose of affection, but I wanted to find her. We checked in with one of the volunteers and explained that we were there to see “Chelsea.” No offense to all the Chelseas out there, on the other hand, maybe you’ll be happy to agree, Chelsea is just not a dog name. It’s a beautiful human name, but Chelsea just doesn’t jive with me. Besides, I already had a name picked out. We were taken to a small room with doors on each side. One door went out to the kitchen/adoption paper signing area. The other door led to the backyard. We sat and waited while the volunteer went to get Chelsea.
And Chelsea made an entrance, did she ever. I was shocked. Stunned. I didn’t know what to do. I had to just sit there, exchange faces with Brent, while a moment of panic hit me because she entered the room with such hyper energy. She ran into the room and straight to the door at the opposite end of the room and slammed her body into it. Then she ran back to the door near the back of the house and did the same thing. This pattern of behavior went on for what felt like 5 minutes. Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. We called her name. No response. We held out a treat. No response. Back and forth. Back and forth. Is this the way she is going to be at our house? How would we deal with this? Is this the right choice? Right now, we cannot read her personality, too much energy to tell. What is she really like?
We decided to take her for a walk outside to see if we could get her to calm down a little bit. She bonded with us quickly and we couldn’t just leave her there. We decided right then and there to go for it. We signed the papers, wrote the check, and realized we have nothing at home for her. No dog bowls, no food, no treats, no toys, nothing. We had to leave her at the shelter and make a quick run to Meijer to stock up. We laughed and kept saying, “This is crazy.” But I believe that’s how it works. Not sure about you, but I usually don’t have everything mapped out in my life, I try to keep things open to impulse and adventure, it keeps things interesting. And often times, it just works out in the end and that’s what happened with us and Bella.
Bella (Chelsea) is actually quite different than the dog we met that day. She is perfect. She has never destroyed anything in our house (knock on wood) and gets along well with our neighbors and their children. She is sweet. She doesn’t like to be cuddled, but she’ll tolerate our hugs and kisses. I believe she could have been that crazy dog if it wasn’t for the proper amounts of daily exercise and training she receives on a consistent basis.
And like a proud mother, I have to show her off:
Her first day at our house!
First car ride